"Obama for America has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general election efforts," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement accompanying a letter to the Government Accountability Office. "The president, who has held more campaign events in 3.5 years than any other president did in their full term, should refund the taxpayers for the cost of these trips through his campaign account Obama for America.”
The GOP for weeks has been trying to make a big deal out of Obama’s campaigning, especially out-of-town travel on Air Force One, charges the administration has shrugged off.
He also explained that the president’s trips this week, for example, haven’t been political. “This week’s travel has been part of the president’s official responsibility to get outside of Washington, D.C., hear from students, and discuss stopping interest rates on their loans from doubling in July – just like Friday’s trip to Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia to meet with troops, veterans, and military families is likewise part of the president’s official responsibilities,” said Schultz.
Typically, presidents of both parties are attacked for campaigning but rarely investigated. That’s because nailing down costs is difficult and also because campaigns and parties normally cover the costs of campaign travel, even when “official” business is also done. And on most campaign trips, presidents of both parties add “official business” to cover the big expenses of getting the president to a city where he might also campaign.
In his letter to GAO, Priebus links the GSA and Solyndra scandal to his spending hit on the president.
"Given the massive debts he's racked up and the waste that's been exposed through GSA and Solyndra, this president has demonstrated he has no regard for hard earned taxpayer dollars,” he wrote in the letter released Wednesday afternoon. “Given this pattern of behavior, we have requested an immediate review of this matter to protect the taxpayers who are being cheated by their government."
White House had no immediate comment, but in the past has dismissed the charges as politically-motivated.